Although response from Catholic clergy has been muted in the wake of Springfield, Illinois, Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s June 12 decree that prohibits Catholics in “same-sex ‘marriage’ ” from receiving Communion, lay organizations have been vocal about their disdain for the decree.
The decree bars Catholics in same-sex marriages from receiving Communion as well as from receiving “ecclesiastical funeral rites,” unless they show signs of repentance before death.
The decree also bans people in same-sex marriages from serving in liturgical ministries. The decree does state that any children “living with persons in a same-sex marriage” cannot be denied acceptance to Catholic schools or other programs.
On June 23, the diocese released a further statement after the considerable attention the decree received.
“These norms regarding same-sex ‘Marriage’ and related pastoral issues are necessary in light of changes in the law and in our culture regarding these issues,” the statement reads. “Regarding the specific issue of funeral rites, people who had lived openly in same-sex marriage, like other manifest sinners that give public scandal, can receive ecclesiastical funeral rites if they have given some signs of repentance before their death.”
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